Foreign nationals must have a current priority date in order to be eligible to file a Form I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident, also known as a Green Card. In the meantime, applicants who are waiting for their priority date to become current can begin collecting some of the required documentation for the I-485 filing.
Although your priority date is not current at this time, you may choose to begin collecting documents that will be required as part of the Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident application. Some certificates and documents, including Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce, and Adoption Certificates., must be issued by the appropriate authority. If you submit the incorrect document or certificate, USCIS will likely request the appropriate document or certificate from you, which can delay your case.
Country specific requirements for common documents are available here. Select the appropriate country where the event occurred to view the issuing authority or alternate evidence for each document or certificate.
Please note, while photocopies of the documents are submitted with the I-485 application, you should retain all originals in a safe location, as USCIS may request them and/or you will need to present them at the Adjustment of Status interview.
You will need to gather the following documents:
- Birth certificate. This must be the “long form” certificate that lists both your parents’ names. Check the reciprocity schedule at the link above to confirm the appropriate issuing authority for your country of birth.
- Marriage certificate(s) issued in connection with the current marriage for the applicant and any dependents.
- Divorce certificate(s) or death certificate(s) issued in connection with the termination of previous marriages for the applicant and any dependents.
- Evidence of Vaccinations. Under the immigration laws of the United States, a foreign national who applies for permanent residence is required to receive vaccinations to prevent the following diseases, including; Mumps, Measles, Rubella, Polio, Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids, Pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type B, Hepatitis B, and any other vaccine-preventable diseases recommended by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices. Please see additional information on vaccinations.
Evidence of vaccinations should be collected for presentation to the physician conducting your medical exam (see below). If you cannot provide evidence of vaccinations that meet the requirements, the examining physician will administer them.
- Evidence of Arrest/Criminal Record. Provide photocopies of all related documentation to any and all prior arrests and criminal convictions, anywhere in the world. You will need to submit original or certified copies of court records showing the final disposition for all arrests and convictions.
All documents that are in a foreign language must be accompanied by a certified English translation. At an additional cost, we will obtain certified translations if your documents are not in English.
It is very important you DO NOT obtain the required medicals until you are advised to do so when your I-485 Application is ready to be filed with USCIS. According to current USCIS policy, medicals must be submitted within 60 days of having them completed and signed by a civil surgeon. If the medicals expire, you will need to acquire and pay for another medical exam, which is costly and time consuming. USCIS filing dates for green cards are subject to change from month to month, it is therefore critical that you wait until the case is nearing completion and you are asked to obtain your medicals. Please be sure to ask if are unsure about timing.
If you are unsure of your eligibility for filing for Adjustment of Status, or of any of the required documentation, please contact your immigration attorney.